Prime Minister’s XI match not all hit and giggle

Ian Bell and Glenn Maxwell might have smashed the ball through the Manuka skies, but the carnival of the Prime Minister’s XI match also had a very serious side.

A number of people have mentioned Brydon Coverdale’s fine piece from Cricinfo to me. It’s the story of PTSD among those who have seen active military service. Here it is.

Stand Tall for PTS was the official charity partner of the Prime Minister’s XI match against the touring Englishmen.

Test cricketer Tony Dell (the subject of Brydon’s piece) recently attended The Footy Almanac launch in Brisbane. He is a friend of the Wesche family, to whom I am very close. Tony played at Easts in Brisbane where Ian Wesche was his wicket-keeper.

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Great article. Thanks for highlighting it JTH.
    I remember Tony Dell very well as a Shield Cricketer. Tall, strong left armer – sort of a poor man’s Joel Garner. Got a lot of bounce off a shortish run up. I always thought he would go a long way as a Test cricketer. This story explains why he didn’t.
    PTSD is very prevalent in the general community – particularly among those who have suffered sexual abuse or domestic violence. People feel shame and just think they have to put up with it.
    Eminently treatable by a good psychologist (takes time but there are effective techniques). Get the person to talk to their GP about it, and the GP can get Medicare to pay most of the first 10 psychologist sessions.

  2. Fabulous article by Brydon Coverdale. As a cricket tragic in his early 50s I well remember Tony Dell’s first test match which I think was also Ian Chappell’s first test as captain following the Lawry sacking. Thanks for sharing it John. Having just completed a graduate diploma in psychology, Tony’s PTSD story really resonated with me. Congratulations Tony Dell for having the fortitude to share your battles which in turn will encourage other sufferers to seek help.

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Poignant stuff JTH and sound suggestion PB. No one should have to suffer in silence with this stuff in 2015.

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks John, I had no idea that Tony had even served, even though, like PB I remember his cricket career well enough.

    “I’d always had this guilt trip,” Dell says. “In the Army they teach you to kill, but they don’t un-teach you. I just handed in my slouch hat and belt and they said, see you later, and next week I’m back at work.”

    That is very sobering stuff.

  5. Good luck to Tony. I was never aware of his time in Vietnam. At least now we recognise PTSD as a diagnosed condition. For those poor buggers who returned from the two World Wars, it was known as shell shock, like my grand uncles suffered after WW1. The fact we recognise it, and treat it, is a major advance.


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